Although many Americans today rely on electronic forms of communication, they still believe there is a need for the U.S. Postal Service. But they’re okay with cutting back snail mail delivery to five days a week.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 31% of Adults think the government should consider selling the money-losing Postal Service to a private company. Fifty percent (50%) disagree and think it should remain in the public sector. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The Postal Service is seeking Congress’ permission to drop Saturday mail delivery as a way to cut costs, and 52% of Americans think that’s a good idea. But that’s down six points from 58% last March. Thirty-four percent (34%) now want to keep Saturday delivery, while 14% more are not sure.
In July, 68% said they would rather see mail delivery cut to five days a week and avoid raising the price of stamps as opposed to keeping the six-day delivery and raising stamp prices.
The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on February 13-14, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Most Americans continue to give the USPS high marks as they have for several years. Sixty-four percent (64%) rate its performance as good or excellent, consistent with previous findings. Just 11% say the Postal Service is doing a poor job.
Seventy-seven percent (77%) think it is at least somewhat likely that there will still be a need for the Postal Service in 10 years, down six points from May 2009. Just 15% say it is not likely there will still be a need for the service. These findings include 42% who see it’s Very Likely and a mere three percent (3%) who say it is Not At All Likely.
Interestingly, younger adults feel as strongly about the continuing need for the Postal Service as older adults do.
Just one percent (1%) of adults said in a survey in July that they use the U.S. mail the most to communicate with friends and family. But an earlier separate survey found that most adults (52%) still used the mail to pay their bills.
Sixty-two percent (62%) of Democrats and a plurality (47%) of adults not affiliated with either major party oppose selling the USPS to a private company. Republicans are almost evenly divided on the question.
In July, 52% of all adults said private companies should be able to compete with the Postal Service by offering mail delivery. But 36% said mail service would be worse if run by a private company. Federal law now prohibits private companies from competing with the Postal Service for mail delivery.